School kids send American Shad home to the Neuse

In a unique and utterly fun new program, schools around North Carolina have raised thousands of American shad fry (baby fish) to release into local rivers. American shad are migratory fish — meaning they live in the ocean but come to fresh water to spawn, often traveling hundreds of miles to do so.

In the “Return of the Shad” program, organized by the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Raleigh Field Office, over a dozen grade school classes raised tens of thousands of shad eggs in the classroom and then released the hatched “fry” into rivers.

American Rivers was fortunate to be invited to talk to teachers in the program about the benefits of healthy, dam-free rivers and how this helps shad, fish and other wildlife.

Then last week I went out to see students of a local 4th grade class release their 5,000 fry into the Neuse River in Raleigh, just below Falls Lake Dam. These little guys will travel over a hundred miles to get to the Atlantic Ocean to grow and mature, then will return to this same river to spawn!

The kids absolutely loved this, and American Rivers was happy to help teach them about the importance of healthy, free-flowing rivers.